Best Places to Live
35 great towns: How does yours rate? Plus, check out our exclusive chart that shows home sales in more than 200 Delaware neighborhoods from 2006 through 2010.
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Her only question: Who would she meet?
Then she saw the guest list, which included the chief of police, the mayor of Wilmington, Tom Carper and Joe Biden.
“I was shocked,” she says. “I would never have been able to meet all these officials in one place if I were still in New York.”
Almost two decades later, Allen remains amazed by how welcoming and open her community is. Nestled in the rolling Red Clay Valley, Hockessin offers Victorian and Colonial houses scattered among former farmhouses and newer housing developments. Add chic restaurants, boutiques and community centers that have sprung up around Lancaster Pike. “It still has that hometown feeling that you would want in a community,” she says. “Because of the intimacy, you get to know everyone on a first-name basis.”
For the Allens, Hockessin is in a perfect location: right between Kim’s family in New York and Bill’s in Virginia. Kim can easily drive to the DuPont Theatre in Wilmington, make a quick trip to a museum in Philadelphia or commute to the numerous schools that A Friend of the Family, her nonprofit organization, works with.
Just before the Allens’ daughter Brittney completed her studies at Spelman College, the Allens briefly considered downsizing to a fancy new condo on the Wilmington Riverfront—but they weren’t able to follow through. The community and family ties to Hockessin were simply too strong.
“People who live here have such a commitment,” she says. “When you live somewhere, you want everyone to have a common goal and real sense. Hockessin has a real sense of community.” —Bob Thurlow
Property tax: 6.21 35
Median home: $157,000 8
SD: Indian River 3
Commute time: 22.6 7
This Colonial town oozes charm. Big Victorians tower over West Market Street, and The Circle, with its historic courthouse and the popular Brick Hotel, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Sussex County seat is also one of the most ethnically diverse places in the state. Return Day is one of Delaware’s oldest traditions.
Page 14: How They Rate, continues...